When 10-year-old Jaden, from Florida, took a tumble while riding his bike without a helmet on Monday, at first his mum, Tiffany A Rivera, thought he had suffered nothing more serious than a scraped elbow and knee.
But two days later he was rushed to hospital for emergency life-saving surgery.
“We were told by the surgeon and other doctors that it was a miracle he survived,” Rivera wrote on Facebook. “All other cases the kids never came out of surgery.”
“When [Jaden] was asked if anything else hurt his only complaints where his elbow and knee. He showed no signs of trauma and continued about his day,” Rivera explained.
But on the morning of Wednesday 23 March, Jaden took a turn for the worse.
“Jaden woke up complaining of a headache and seemed very lethargic, which was not his normal self at all,” wrote Rivera.
“All Jaden wanted to do was lay down and didn’t want to eat anything. After looking at Jaden you could see swelling around his right temple. The spot on his temple was not hard, more like really squishy.
“I decided to take him to the hospital. The moment I had Jaden in the car he started vomiting.”
Jaden was taken for a CT scan upon arrival at Saint Mary’s Children’s Hospital and he was diagnosed with a fracture of the skull and an epidural hematoma, (a build up of blood under his skull).
“The doctors explained to me that my son need emergency surgery within the hour to try and save his life,” Rivera continued. “The chances of him making it were a 50/50 chance.”
Jaden was taken into surgery immediately. Doctors performed a craniotomy (removal of part of his skull) to treat the epidural hematoma and used a wire mesh to repair the fracture.
Jaden was in surgery for two and a half hours and had 32 surgical staples in his head.
“On April 5th 2016 Jaden turned 11 with almost no permanent damage or disability,” Rivera wrote.
“My family and I would like to thank the Trauma Surgical Team and PICU at Saint Mary’s Children’s hospital in West Palm Beach Florida.”
Rivera stated that she decided to share her story in the hope of raising awareness of the importance of wearing cycling helmets.
“This can happen to anyone,” she wrote “The injuries my son had were equal to those in a motorcycle accident.”
She urged parents to share her post to spread the message far and wide and within two weeks it was shared more than 29,000 times.